TOM THE DANCING BUG: Super-Fun-Pak Comix, feat. Middle-Aged-Couple-In-Armchairs-Man!

In two countries I know of that “officially” use the “half + hour” format, Germany and Russia, half four (halb vier or полчетвёртого) means half past three.
When making appointments with German colleagues, always use the 24 hour clock.

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“Look yonder,” said my Guide, "in Flatland thou hast lived; of Lineland thou hast received a vision; thou hast soarred with me to the heights of Spaceland; now, in order to complete the range of thy experience, I conduct thee downward to the lowest depth of existence, even to the realm of Pointland, the Abyss of No dimensions.

“Behold yon miserable creature. That Point is a Being like ourselves, but confined to the non-dimensional Gulf. He is himself his own World, his own Universe; of any other than himself he can form no conception; he knows not Length, nor Breadth, nor Height, for he has had no experience of them; he has no cognizance even of the number Two; nor has he a thought of Plurality; for he is himself his One and All, being really Nothing. Yet mark his perfect self-contentment, and hence learn his lesson, that to be self-contented is to be vile and ignorant, and that to aspire is better than to be blindly and impotently happy. Now listen.”

He ceased; and there arose from the little buzzing creature a tiny, low, monotonous, but distinct tinkling, as from one of your Spaceland phonographs, from which I caught these words, “Infinite beatitude of existence! It is; and there is nothing else beside It.” – Flatland, a Romance of Many Dimensions, by A. Square



Addressing the Republican presidential hopefuls, I see. Including Bush…who is quite good at looking normal, but they’re the worst kind.

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It sounds like you’re assuming he should be counting in binary. Why? Humans have ten fingers. Horses have four hooves instead. That’s the joke.

But hooves aren’t analogous to fingers. Otherwise we’d be using base 20 (toes are really just stubby feetfingers.)

More likely you are too young. In the 1960s and 1970s in the US (and perhaps other countries) there was what was called New Math – the idea was that US students were bad at math because we weren’t taught the theoretical basis of it and were just solving problems by rote. So even grade schoolers were taught about different base systems and set theory in an attempt to get them to understand mathematics better. By the 1980s this was dropped because too many students got lost by it (although it is back in a weakened form in the “Common Core” that current grade schoolers use).

I got taught New Math in the 1970s, while it was in decline. It helped me in that I got into early home computers, which typically used hexadecimal (base-16).


We do use base 20 in certain contexts though – the semi-poetic use of “score” as in the lifespan of humans being described as “threescore and ten”, Abraham Lincoln mentioning that the US was founded “fourscore and seven years ago”, etc.

From SMBC and the mind of Zack Wienersmith of Course.


Off-by-one error is so common that ANSI once considered making it a required Standard Error.

(I would attribute that (mis)quote, if I could remember the source)


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